I had the pleasure of being interviewed on Kevin Gerald Rau’s Author page. Kevin is an author of Super Hero novels (H.E.R.O.) with an engaging website and an enjoyable focus.
Here’s a link to my interview:
Interview with Kevin Rau March 30, 2012
…and the text of the interview with Kevin’s Comments:
Interview Date: 3/30/2012
I started writing in fourth grade. I was…let me see…nine years old. It was a poem about a horse (I loved horses). What got me started? We were reading poetry and I thought I could try to write one. I remember it: it was rather fun.
*If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably “powerful.”)
I don’t know if I’d prefer to be invisible or to be invulnerable. If invisible, would I have to run around without clothes? (Donald Westlake had this situation in SMOKE; the hero had to run around without a stitch on – uncomfortable in winter and embarrassing in all situations – and anything he ate could be seen in the course of digestion. Not cool). I think maybe invulnerability is the way to go, though flight runs it a close second.
Kev’s response: I completely agree about the invisibility and lack of clothing, I’d never go for that either.
*Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?
She-Ra. She got to ride Pegasus.I confess that I also liked Thor, but that’s because I enjoyed Norse mythology and the juxtapositioning of Odin on Sleipnir at a press conference was very amusing.
Kev’s response: I’m a big fan of Thor, myself. The diety, not the Marvel superhero … although I guess I’m a fan of him as well, just in a different way.
*Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?
That’s a hard one. I’m a people-watcher, and I enjoy reading history. A situation will catch my attention and I’ll start thinking, “Gosh, I wonder what would have happened if…” This happened once when I was looking at a photo of a huge statue that had once stood before a temple. The thing had been forty feet tall. I found myself imagining that huge monolith falling, and began to picture what would have happened. As far as motivation goes, there’s a wonderful feeling (‘thrill’, if you like) to creating the world of a novel, no matter what the genre. It isn’t the notion of having unlimited power, because you don’t. The moment you set a fact of your story down it is set in stone and you can’t get around it.It’s the notion of, perhaps, bringing something into being in a form that is true to its bases.
*Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?
I have an idea in my mind – the fall of the statue, for example, and I follow it. If something occurs to me that clarifies things, it gets incorporated. It’s a little like bringing something hazy into focus.
*Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?
I used to write on the train into work.Forty-five minutes each way. It was a great system.I don’t ride the train any more, unfortunately. It’s hard to be disciplined; I’ve learned that you actually have to sit down and write – and NOTHING ELSE. If you want a lesson in jump-starting yourself, try NaNoWriMo.
Kev’s response: I have the same issue, if I turn on the TV, I’ll be too distracted and won’t get much writing done.
*Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?
I write historical fiction, which I also enjoy, provided that it is well-researched. I tend to be a nit-picker. I like to read historical fiction, poetry, humor. I also enjoy cookbooks – the discursive kind. Photos are good.
*What do you enjoy the most about writing?
The act of bringing something into being. putting together the puzzle that is a story. Increasing insights, flexing the writing muscles. But (for me) the absolute best part of writing is learning out that someone read one of my stories and was entertained by it.Novelists are storytellers, pure and simple. We want to entertain with our stories, and it’s the most wonderful thing to find out that we have actually succeeded.
*Is there any part of writing that you don’t enjoy?
It would not trouble me if I found that someone else would do my editing. I have a very dear friend who does just that, and if there were some way I could give that person a sack of rubies, I would do so in a heartbeat.
*Can you tell me something odd about yourself?
I like to get into a car and just drive.As you can understand, this activity is curtailed by current gasoline prices. I also lick the icing out of the middle of my oreos.
Kev’s response: Oreos! 🙂
*Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?
Many. After the first time I finished a novel and had nothing to do afterward, I was lost. It was a sort of grieving. Now I always have several in the works.This also helps the creative process – the ability to step away from a project and catch my breath before returning to it.
*Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?
I thought e-books were the wave of the future fourteen years ago. I haven’t changed my mind. The fact that you can (almost) fit the library of congress into a e-reader boggles my mind. But I confess that the smell and feel of a new book is intoxicating. I don’t think paper books will go away, but they’ll be scarce.
*What are your current projects?
I have a Civil War novel, one set in Paris and another Egyptian story in the works.
*Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?
Do your research and be thorough, make an informed decision and then follow it. Don’t do something because you wish you could. I think the most important thing I could tell someone thinking of self-publishing is this: Don’t forget that your writing is the product that you are trying to sell. Your writing – NOT you, even though you are the writer. Put your ego somewhere safe and forget about it. Be courteous. Be pleasant and appreciative. For heaven’s sake, don’t ever argue with someone who has taken the time to purchase a novel of yours (paperback or eBook) and then has reviewed it. In addition to being rude, it is stupid and it is the quickest way to shoot yourself in the foot. And the ricochets hit all the other self-published people who are trying to do the right thing and make their way.
*Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?